The 2018 Wertheimer Fellows for Excellence in Volunteerism
Christy Fuss, of Frederick, has been a tireless volunteer with Frederick County 4-H Camp and Activities Center for the last 15 years. As president, a position which she has held for the past five years, she supervises the Camp Center caretaker and oversees eight committees. Christy works with the 240 adult trained volunteers who schedule events and plan and provide volunteer experiences for 4-H youth. Also, she manages the scheduling for Camp Center rentals to outside organizations.
Christy has become the on-site caterer for the Camp Center, giving hundreds of hours (sometimes 100 hours or more in just one week). Whether it is a 4-H fundraising activity, a wedding reception, private gathering, or business meeting, Christy plans the meals, purchases the food, organizes other volunteers to help prepare and serve at the event, and even moves her personal camper to the Camp Center and lives on-site when large events with hundreds of people staying over multiple days need to be fed. Through this volunteer service, she has contributed greatly to helping the Camp Center meet its annual revenue requirements.
4-H has been a part of Christy’s life since she was a child, as well as Future Farmers of America (FFA). She has led a 4-H Club with 30 members for the past 17 years and has been a leader and mentor to countless numbers of youth. She volunteers at The Great Frederick Fair helping to organize ribbons and trophies. She organizes the processing dates for the animals sold at the Fair by 4-H members, and in 2017, stayed at the Fair for an additional two weeks helping with the swine flu quarantine. She has been described as willing to “put her life on hold to handle situations that others would not have time for.”
Christy is also an EMT with Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department and has extensive experience as a responder. This training is invaluable at the Camp Center as she can provide medical assistance when needed for people at the Camp Center.
“Selfless, devoted, genuinely humble, willingness to serve” are just a few of the words used to describe Christy. Her deep interest in helping youth learn and develop life skills is highly respected, as she has a gift for teaching others while instilling confidence in their decision-making abilities. She is the true meaning of a 4-H volunteer who “makes the best better” for others.
Christy has, with her 2018 Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism Award, established The Fuss Family 4-H Camp Center Volunteer Fund to provide grants to Frederick County 4-H Camp and Activities Center.
Aje Hill, of Frederick, has had life lessons that are unforgettable. Because of choices that he made earlier in his life, he found himself incarcerated but this experience was the catalyst he needed to find ways to change and become a productive member of society. Two years ago, Aje founded I Believe In Me, Inc., a nonprofit that provides mentoring, reading and math programs, self-esteem and character building, socialization in society, financial literacy, and group activities for underprivileged youth in the community. He is the “head mentor,” showing youth that it is possible to change course and be successful. He meets with youth one-on-one on a regular basis, teaches peer relationship building, and encourages a desire and love for learning. Currently, more than 55 youth within Frederick County are benefiting from the programs offered, and through referrals, Aje spends time with Frederick County Public Schools students during the school day providing assistance and mentoring. Through all of this, Aje says that his interaction with these youth help him as much as he helps them.
Also, Aje organizes group events to provide them with opportunities that are not within their reach, such as trips to see the Frederick Keys or Baltimore Orioles baseball teams play, and visits to the beach or theme parks. However, his primary goal is to provide youth with the support and tools they need to meet and solve society’s challenges positively.
One of Aje’s success stories is a young man who is currently in sixth grade and has participated in I Believe in Me activities since it opened. At age 5, this youth suffered the loss of his father to violence, which impacted him greatly. Through the last two years, his participation in I Believe In Me helped him gain confidence, start positively living his life, and improve his school performance. Through the adversity he’s faced at a very young age, he is turning into a leader for his sister and other I Believe in Me members with Aje’s help.
Aje has, with his 2018 Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism Award, established The I Believe In Me, Inc. Fund to provide grants to the I Believe in Me, Inc. organization in support of its youth mentoring programs.
The 2018 Wertheimer Youth in Action Honoree
Simon Price, of New Market, is already a veteran volunteer at a young age. He has spent the majority of his last six summers with United Way of Frederick County’s Summer Serve program as a volunteer. A teen volunteer program, the program engages youth in service projects throughout Frederick County.
Simon has participated in building a community shed in a neighborhood community garden, installing the “My Plate Garden” at The Great Frederick Fair, planting and harvesting food and crops that help feed families in need, and assisting with the Lord Nickens mosaic at the Bernard Brown Community Center, and much more. One of Simon’s favorite events is “Stuff the Bus” that helps supply school supplies for thousands of students each year, and he has eagerly participated multiple times. Summer Serve representatives have witnessed Simon grow into a strong young leader, always setting a good example for new youth entering the program. He is enthusiastic about each project and works hard to make sure the project is completed. Most importantly, he welcomes and accepts each new volunteer for who they are, and his kindness has inspired others to be kind as well.
United Way of Frederick County has tagged Simon as “a rising leader and someone to be watched” as he already has a great working knowledge and passion for accomplishing great things in Frederick County and making it a better place.
Simon has, with his 2018 Wertheimer Youth in Action Award, selected United Way of Frederick County’s Live United program to receive a grant.